A good day for a popsicle is a day that’s particularly hot, maybe even muggy. You’re out in the sun all day and your body starts craving refreshment. It wants the liquid, but it also wants the coolness. Something about ice on the tongue that brings your body temperature down a few notches. Then when the popsicle starts to melt, you are rewarded with a sweet, sugary liquid for some energy and flavor. It’s the whole experience that makes it special. It’s summertime refreshment and nostalgia all molded together and served on a stick.
Today was not a day like that. It was warm but not overly hot and I was indoors for most of it, so I wasn’t really working up a sweat. It was slightly overcast at times too. It could have easily been a day to enjoy soup as equally as much as it would be a day to enjoy a popsicle. But because it was National Bomb Pop Day, popsicles were on the menu. But not until later. First we had to feast at the Brick Alley Pub.
A Bomb Pop is the red, white and blue popsicle in the shape of a rocket ship that you often see sold in ice cream trucks. They were invented in 1955, by two Kansas City, Missouri men named James S. Merritt and D.S. “Doc” Abernathie. I’m not sure why they invented them but likely it was to ride the pro-America wave of the fifties (not to mention the fascination with space travel). It was (and is) just a fun looking food. Why have one flavor when you could have three? The colors are inviting too – the shiny red, the deep white and the dark blue. If you see someone eating a bomb pop you immediately get jealous, especially if you are hot or thirsty. Like most budding novelty food inventors, James and Doc eventually sold their business to an outside entity – Wells Enterprises. That’s who continue to make the Bomb Pop today (under the Blue Bunny brand).
We went to Brick Alley Pub to celebrate the birthday of our niece Savannah who turned eight years old today. At least I think she turned eight. I asked her how old she was and her various answers ranged from 3 to 117. Being a silly uncle (Savvy will tell me I’m the silliest), I sometimes find it hard to get a serious answer. Savvy likes to play along with all my silliness though and she loves to laugh (her sister Eva does too). Lola bought her a Whoopie Cushion and Savvy was cracking up at the flarping noise it would make every time someone leaned up against it. I think she is having a kid party on the weekend but tonight was just about her family celebrating her. It was a good crew with some good food too. I had considered bringing a box of bomb pops to the party so everyone could celebrate afterwards, but you can’t really bring a box of popsicles to a restaurant. They tend to melt by the time it’s dessert time. Plus, I’m sure Savvy wanted cake or a special dessert with candles (she had a brownie sundae and everyone sang to her). No, bomb pops would not have been appropriate. Still, we had a nice little party for her and she seemed as happy as she has always is especially around cakes, presents and songs. She’s a special little kid and worth every celebration in her honor.
Today was National Almond Buttercrunch Day too and so after dinner, Lola and I walked around a bit down Thames street to see if we could find some at one of the tourist-minded candy shops littering the town. We found some good places to buy fudge and sour belts, but no buttercrunch. Still it was fun to walk around Newport in the early evening. It was still bustling with activity and it felt nice to do vacation-y things on a regular Thursday night. We didn’t mean to, but we ended up bumping into Lola’s sisters again (we had just ditched them at the Pub). They were doing what we were doing – walking off our Brick Alley Pub dinners and enjoying some local charms, although they were not on a quest for almond buttercrunch. The night had a hint of Chatham to it when we would all vacation together and wander through the shops around town after dinner. Except this was happening in our own backyard. You sometimes forget about what we have right here.
Lola and I were in separate cars because I had come directly from work, so we drove home separately too. She took the long way and drove by the beaches to catch the day’s last rays of sunshine dancing on the ocean. I on the other hand went to Shaw’s. I had to pick up some milk and water, but also it was my chance to pick up some bomb pops. The store didn’t carry the specific Bomb Pop brand, but they did carry the Popsicle brand (which is the same thing, they just call them Firecrackers). Still, a bomb pop is a bomb pop and the essence of one of these bad boys is the red, white and blue layered look. That’s what I was celebrating. I made my purchases and then I took one out of the box to enjoy on the car ride home.
I wasn’t expecting the popsicle to have a different flavor for each section. I must have forgotten about that but it was a nice surprise. I discovered this when I made my way through the cherry flavored red top and I hit the lemon/lime flavor of the white. I was liking the red, but I really liked the white. It wasn’t as sweet and it reminded me of an Italian Ice. It was my favorite of the sections. The blue was kind of raspberry flavored which was nice, but still I liked the white best. It was less complex, less sweet and just plain tasty. I drove my way down East Main Road, the sun going down to my left as a giant fiery ball in the sky and me behind the wheel with blue lips enjoying the simple pleasure of a bomb pop.
I can’t say I’m an overly patriotic guy. I have a deep-rooted hate for Lee Greenwood. I will very rarely take part when a U-S-A chant breaks out. I have no articles of clothing that show off my love for the red, white and blue, nor any ornamental car decorations. But when it comes to waving the red, white and blue of a bomb pop, well then I pledge allegiance. I’m sure this holiday falls on this day because it’s right before Independence Day – a day when Old Glory flies a little more gloriously. The bomb pop is the perfect product for this time of year. It’s as American as the pie and Chevrolet. So today, I salute the glory of the bomb pop and for all the joy it brings. May forever in peace may she wave.
Next up: National Candy Month